Residents of various hamlets at Pongupalayam village panchayat along with members of Communist Party of India observed fast near railway station here on Tuesday to press their demand for cancellation of licenses of stone quarries situated in the locality.

“As many as 21 stone quarries are located close to the residential colonies in the region. Of them, four quarries have active licenses and the steps for renewing the licenses of the remaining 17 quarries are presently under way,” K. S. Paramasivam, a resident, said. He further pointed out that many of the residents in the hamlets like Babuji Nagar, Kalampalayam and Pallipalayam, coming under the village panchayat, had been staying there for almost five decades much before the setting up of any quarries.

According to the residents, the stone quarries are now located as close as about 60 metres to the houses in some places, with the quarry owners slowly adding more and more areas into the extracting limit with the passing of years. Every explosion in the quarries results in cracks on the walls of at least few houses and roof tiles were broken when scattered pieces of stone fall on the tiles, they said. “The major problem is that the residents in the area are facing is difficulty in obtaining bank loans for construction of extended structure to their houses. The bank officials are rejecting the applications due to the proximity of buildings to the quarries,” Mr. Paramasivam said.

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